The marijuana industry is on track to become a $21 billion business by year 2021, according to ArcView Research. With many millions of dollars and businesses at stake, the industry is wringing its hands wondering what will happen under the new administration.
Many believe that President Trump’s words indicate that he will either be in favor of states rights or at least support medical marijuana. However, President Trump has already show his willingness to back away from campaign rhetoric. For example, “Mexico paying to build the wall” is now “Mexico is going to pay for it later.” So, there are no guarantees President Trump will stick to his previous statements.
In addition, it is likely that Jeff Sessions will be confirmed as the next attorney general. It is well known-he is a marijuana critic and it is very possible that he could come down hard on the cannabis industry – morality trumping money. Marijuana Business Daily has distilled the possibilities of Trump’s effect on marijuana into five different scenarios in a new report.
Trump has shown his desire to eradicate anything associated with President Barack Obama. If they are willing to terminate insurance for 22 million people and disrupt the insurance industry – the cannabis people are small potatoes. Marijuana Business Daily says they could just rip up the Cole Memorandum that paved the way for recreational marijuana. They could close businesses and seize assets.
They would probably begin with companies that “touch the plant” and try to close them down. While the Rohrbacher-Farr amendment provides some protection by not allowing the government to spend money to target medical marijuana businesses, they could still go after small businesses that don’t have the resources to fight. This amendment is up for renewal by Congress on April 28 and if it isn’t renewed, the protection disappears. The industry could be set back for years.
2. Status Quo – Nothing Changes.
It’s possible that everything will be left alone and maintained as is. The Cole Memo will stand and states that have approved legalization will move forward as planned without interference. Polls have shown most Americans are in favor or legalization and states enjoy the new forms of revenue. If the new administration does choose to scale back government services, it would make it easier if states could provide more for themselves and pay for these services with their own revenue.
3. The Trump administration openly supports the cannabis industry.
At the end of the day, Trump is a businessman and many in his cabinet are businessmen. He wants jobs and the cannabis industry has provided between 100,000-150,000 jobs nationwide. It’s popular and Trump likes being on the popular side of things. Imagine if Trump descheduled marijuana? He would be like the first kid in the neighborhood that got a Nintendo system. He would immediately gain millions of new fans. He could remove it from the list of controlled substances and potentially create a new product to export. Banks could begin servicing a new set of clients. It’s the kind of big, shocking move that fits Trump.
The Department Of Justice could issue a new memorandum with different new guidelines. The report states, “it does not seem at this time that the cannabis industry will see a major crackdown on the cannabis industry, and any large, coordinated effort to close marijuana businesses will not be very successful if attempted.”